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Tour a Tall Ship

USS Constellation

USS Constellation

List Of Tall Ships You Can Tour

Ahoy! Here you'll find information on tall ships around the world that are open for the public to tour. All ships are grouped by region of the world so that you can easily find a tall ship near you or your next travel destination.

Touring a tall ship is an exciting experience that gives you an appreciation of history, the adventure of sailing and what life was like for the crews that sailed these great old sailing ships. It's a fun and educational activity the whole family can enjoy.

This site lists tall ships that are stationary exhibits most of the time, usually as part of a larger maritime museum. Some do set sail occasionally so please check each ship's website for specifics.

That's the USS Constellation pictured above in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. It's my favorite tall ship to tour.

What's A Tall Ship?

A Tall Ship is a wind powered ship with tall masts and sails. The term typically refers to large sailing vessels that were the warships, freighters and ocean liners of their day before the use of modern engines.

A tall ship does not have to be built entirely of wood, most built in the late 19th and early 20th century had wrought iron or steel hulls and masts.

Tall ships are classified according to their rig (the number of masts and configuration of the sails). Basic rigs include full-rigged ship, brig, barque, brigantine and barquentine.

USS Constitution

USS Constitution

Tall Ships to Tour in North America - East Coast

USS Constitution "Old Ironsides"
Tour the world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat at Charlestown Navy Yard in Massachusetts. Christened in 1797, this warship was a critical part of the early history of the United States, including extensive action during the War of 1812.

USS Constellation
The USS Constellation is the last all sail warship built by the US Navy. She is also the last US Civil War era vessel still afloat and is open to the public as a museum in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

Peking
A four-masted barque with its mainmast rising to a height of 170 feet, the Peking is one of the largest sailing vessels ever built and is said to be the largest preserved by a museum (New York's South Street Seaport Museum).

Wavertree
Built in 1885, the Wavertree is the largest full-rigged sailing ship built of wrought iron still afloat. She is also berthed at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City, NY.

HMS Bounty
This replica ship was built by MGM studios in 1960 for the filming of the movie, Mutiny on the Bounty, using the drawings of the original ship built over 200 years ago. HMS Bounty was also in the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean II. Sadly, in 2012, the HMS Bounty was lost at sea during Hurricane Sandy. She was the first tall ship I toured and her name remains here as a memorial.

Charles W. Morgan
Built in 1841, the Charles W. Morgan is said to be the world's last remaining wooden whaling ship. She is a designated National Historic Landmark and is berthed at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. The ship is back in the water after a 5 year restoration project.

Elissa
Elissa is an iron hulled barque built in 1877 that transported cargo around the world for over 90 years. She continues to sail annually in the Gulf of Mexico and is berthed at the Texas Seaport Museum in Galveston, Texas.

Friendship
The original Friendship was built in 1797. The three masted "East Indiaman" made 15 voyages around the world before being captured by the British sloop of war HMS Rosamond during the War of 1812. This replica of the Friendship was completed in 1998 and is part of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site in Salem, Massachusetts.

US Brig Niagara
The original Niagara was built in 1813 during the War of 1812. Under the command of Commodore Perry, she was a key part of the American victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie. This replica was built in 1988 and includes some of the timbers from the original ship. She serves as a Sailing School Vessel during the summer but can be toured at the Erie Maritime Museum the rest of the year.

S/V Denis Sullivan
The Denis Sullivan is a reproduction of a 19th century Great Lakes three masted cargo schooner. She is "Wisconsin's Flagship" and serves as an educational and nautical training vessel, promoting the state's rich maritime heritage. She is available for tours and day sails in her home port of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Mayflower II
This replica of the original Mayflower that carried the Pilgrims to the New World in 1620 was built in England in 1955 as close to the original ship's design as possible. The Mayflower II recreated that famous voyage across the Atlantic in 1957. She is available for tour at the Plimoth Plantation museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Kalmar Nyckel
The original Kalmar Nyckel made four trips from Sweden to the New World in the 1600s to populate the colony of New Sweden (present day Delaware). This replica of that historic pinnace was launched in 1997 and is now available for dockside tours, day sails and other events. Her home port is Wilmington, Delaware.

Friendship of Salem

Friendship of Salem

Support Your Tall Ships

Many tall ships are owned and maintained by non-profit organizations. These historic ships require a lot of work and money to restore and keep afloat.

Please remember that your admission ticket only covers a portion of these costs. There is usually a donation box onsite or you can find donor information on the ship's website.

Making a purchase in the museum gift shop or at the snack bar also helps.

The Star of India

The Star of India

Tall Ships to Tour in North America - West Coast

HMS Rose (aka HMS Surprise)
This replica ship played the role of HMS Surprise in the Oscar winning movie Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World. She is docked in San Diego, CA, at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Star of India
Built in 1863, this barque was originally a full-rigged ship until converted in 1901. She still sets sail at least once a year, is one of the world's oldest active ships and part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Californian
This replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence was built at San Diego in 1984. She is the official tall ship of the State of California. When not out sailing her annual tour of the California coast, she can be found in San Diego.

Balclutha
The Balclutha first set sail in 1887. She has the distiction of being the last vessel to fly the flag of the Hawaiian Kingdom and is now a National Historic Landmark. The National Park Service acquired her in 1978 and she is part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park.

My Favorite Tall Ship Movie

A.R.C. Gloria at Dusk

A.R.C. Gloria at Dusk

Party On A Tall Ship!

How cool would it be to celebrate your next birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, corporate function or any other event on the deck of a tall ship?

Well, you're in luck. Most tall ships are available for private parties and event rentals. Check their website for details.

Portsmouth Dockyard

Portsmouth Dockyard

Tall Ships to Tour in Europe

HMS Victory
The Victory is most famous for serving as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar. Launched in 1765 and still serving as the flagship of the Second Sea Lord, this ship carries a formidable 100 guns and is the world's oldest commissioned warship. When not performing official functions, she is open to the public at No2 Dry Dock at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Portsmouth, England, UK.